Modern Portraits - The Story of You and Yours

I  love stories… Do you?  I love reading them, hearing them, seeing them unfold.. most of all, I love telling them.  What would you say is your Story?  Some of us would say we haven’t got one to tell, or it’s pretty boring! But is it?  Or is it just that it’s not been told right?  

Key to any story really, are characters. I think that’s what makes a good story for me, the people, the hero, the supporting cast.

In your life, who’s your hero?  We may say ‘our wife’ or ‘our husband’ or ‘our children’ or ‘parents’.  For us, they have come in and saved the day, more than once.  Done the unexpected.  Comforted us when we needed it and loved us unconditionally. 

But if they were to be asked who their hero was, what would they say?  It is likely, your partner or your children or your parents would say, the hero of their story is “You!” You’ve saved the day for them, done the unexpected, comforted and loved them unconditionally.   

Now I can’t play an instrument so I can’t produce a unique hero theme tune!  But as a portrait photographer, I shoot modern portraits to capture the story of  YOU and those that are YOURS.  Real moments, in the lives of real heroes who are real people.  I tell  stories that truly matter and that need to be told right. 



Modern Portraits - To print or not to print

Photography is an extremely important method of preservation.  How do you ensure those important to you now, will be remembered by your children and your grandchildren?  How important do you think printing photographs are?  When I think about it, I have learned a lot about my family history through old photograph albums.  Sometimes, heads were missing and the images were really blurry!  But, those Kodak moments,.. told the unfolding story of our family through the 60s, 70s, and 80s,  in the Uk and overseas.  I saw my parents young and brave, starting life in a new country with a young family.  Well before I came on the scene, I could visualise and learn elements of their story, spoken without words, through those photo albums.  Can you relate to that?   

I believe putting images in print plays an important role in preserving treasured personal and family history.  Print does this in a way digital images cannot. 

When we print images, when we can hold and touch a photograph, what is now a tangible memory of a moment, fires the senses! The impression in the mind is deepened as persons and personalities become vivid once more. The moment is mentally sharper, it stays with us longer, and we can revisit it whenever we choose.  That photograph or print, ages in real-time, with the memory.  A Jpeg doesn’t do that.  You can’t hold it or feel it.   Do you think, In years to come, your grandson or granddaughter will be able to learn about and look with fondness on the family you know now? 

Finally, it has been said that having a display on the wall of the family as a unit, is key to helping children ‘see themselves’ as valued and important parts of that family.  For me, printing photographs, putting them up on the walls in our homes, has psychological merit and worth. It encourages a feeling of belonging and security.  Admittedly, we are all children.  We all need that feeling of belonging and security.  

Modern Portraits for YOU

For all of the above, I shoot modern portraits to creatively tell personal stories.  YOUR story, the story of YOU and those that are SPECIAL to YOU.

I produce beautiful images in timeless, handmade luxury products, that will be key to your family heritage and that you and your loved ones will treasure and cherish, for years to come.  

Raphael Lionel Photography Logo | Wedding Photographer


Modern Portrait Photographer Faq
Click below for some important details
When will I see the images?

For Studio Modern Portrait Packages, editing turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.   A Reveal session will then be arranged and you will be asked to come back to the Studio to view your Portrait images.   You may wish to purchase your collection at this point or implement a payment plan for purchases.

Product delivery depends on the Collection that you have purchased and international shipping.  My supplier is based in Italy and this can take  a short time for goods to be couriered to the Uk.

For weddings, usually you will get your images within 4 weeks of  ‘the VOW’.  I will always inform you of the time frame for having your images edited beforehand.  After your wedding day I will communicate progress periodically.  There may be exceptionally busy times when I will advise a slightly longer turnaround.  I do find that taking the time out to ensure the story is told right is key.

Do you offer Payment Plans?

Yes ! Payment plans are available and can be arranged at anytime.  Products will only be ordered once they are fully paid for however.  Card payments or Bank Transfers are fine.  However cheques are not accepted.

I have a Modern Portrait Session planned, can I bring a friend?

Yes of course!  There is plenty of room within the studio for friends and family, in fact, large families and family reunions are perfect for the studio space.  If there are limits it will be included in the shoot description.

Do you shoot Modern Portraits on the weekend?

When you call to book your appointment, enquire as to the available dates at the time, as these will change.  However, weekends and evenings are both possible.

So can I book without meeting you over the phone or via email?

For Studio Portraits, if you are near, why not give me a call and come in for a chat and coffee?  You may find this goes a long way to making you feel comfortable about your shoot.  I do find that having a face-to-face, really helps both parties when it comes to the day of your portrait session.  However, I am flexible about this and realise this is not always possible.  A pre-shoot consultation will always be conducted, however, whether by phone or in person and I find these are vital.

For weddings, my involvement with your day is so important, we have to meet each other before you can really be confident choosing me as your wedding photographer.   I like to arrange a face-to-face after the first contact to discuss your expectations as bride and groom as well as a means of officially introducing myself and sharing some examples of my work.  With time set aside, questions can be answered, answers can be clarified, experiences can be shared and friendships can be made.  Clients are more than welcome to come along to the studio and view my albums.  After our meet-up if our dates align and you wish to proceed, I can share with you a booking form link and you will be asked to complete, return and pay the non-refundable £250.00 retention fee. (Dependant on your collection chosen)   This must be paid to secure your date.  Then all outstanding fees agreed must be paid in full 14 days before your wedding.

Are you insured?

Yes! I believe this is an essential requirement as a photographer.  I have public liability insurance and also professional indemnity insurance.

Do you Travel?

Yes! Although I have the studio in Birmingham, I also travel around the UK and Internationally if required.  Anything outside 40 miles of the B3 postcode, is subject to a ‘fee per mile’ charge.  For international requests, air travel and accommodation are normally required.

For Weddings, do you have a Mini-me?

Unfortunately no – I don’t have a clone! But an additional photographer can be arranged for a fee of £300.00.  My “ROMANTIC‘ collections do include two photographers, however, all other collections are subject to the aforementioned fee.

Do you offer discounts for weddings on a weekday?

Yes at times.  This is adhoc however and may actually mean I shoot for longer then the agreed time as opposed to a monetary discount.

Let me tell your story!

As a Birmingham Portrait Photographer, I have a genuine interest in the lives of others and telling personal stories.   If this is important to you, I would love to hear from you!


Feel free to contact me on the button below or if you are in the Jewellery Quarter, let me know and perhaps you can pop in for a coffee and chat!


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